The village of Matteson in 2012 unveiled and dedicated its Lincoln Highway mural. It was the 30th mural to be installed by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition along the historic route, and the seventh in the Southland. | Supplied photo
Updated: July 10, 2014 9:03AM
A Matteson auto service shop is celebrating 100 years in business, thanks to three generations who have kept the operation in the family.
Mahler’s Service Inc., founded in 1914 by Art Mahler, is the oldest business still owned and operated by the same family in the village of Matteson.
Mahler’s celebrated recently at the service garage, where it received a banner and a book full of historical coverage of the family business throughout the century.
Mahler’s also received a Historic Landmark Plaque from the Matteson Historical Society in 1998, as well as a mural from the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition in 2012 for its longtime presence in the area.
Art Mahler began servicing the few cars in the area in 1914 while selling farm implements. He would own a Mitchell and Maxwell car dealership, and serviced and sold Nash cars from 1926 to 1941.
His son Melvin, also a representative for Buick and Chevrolet, bought the business from his father in 1950.
Mel’s sons — Mel Jr., Tim and Larry — worked at the garage while in school.
Tim Mahler, the current owner and operator of the service station, said there wasn’t much question about where he wanted that experience to take him.
“I always wanted to do this. I grew up with my dad in the business and started working when I was 12, and this is what I wanted to do — and I’ve continued to do it,” Mahler said.
Lois Blume, president of the Matteson Historical Society and a lifelong Matteson resident, remembers the Mahler’s and Mahler’s Service Inc. as the place where much of her family took their cars for work “because we went to high school with them and knew them all through the years.”
Fostering good relationships with customers is not only essential for Mahler, but something he enjoys most about running the business.
“Always do an honest job,” Mahler said was related to him as a piece of advice from the generations before him. “I think it has a lot to do with us continuing for 100 years.”
Mahler’s Service is at 3627 W. 216th St.